The Other Side of Nowhere!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by HighFive, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Hey guys, good job on the ride report as always. Really enjoying it. Know what you mean about that stretch of 170. One of the coolest roads I have ever been on.

    Did not know about that state park. I am going down there in Feb. Will have to check it out.

    More please.
    #41
  2. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Mark, did you did a RR on this ride?
    #42
  3. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    All to soon, we were clothed in darkness....and a beautiful night it was indeed.

    [​IMG]

    While the sky had cleared, the Temperature plummeted, but at least it wasn't raining. :smile6


    Day 6

    The first truly gorgeous day of the whole trip has arrived. And, Monty is packing his bags to go home. :cry

    [​IMG]

    :dunno

    I'm all alone now.....on The Other Side of Nowhere.

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    No support, no backup, no cell....No Plan, NO Schedule, & NO PROBLEMS!

    First things first: its laundry day. Got to dry out everything!

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    Soon enough, I'm off into the wild yonder. And just can't help feeling so puny....all by myself.

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    Ran into a LOT of deer this morning. This Mulie was a nice one with a really big rack!

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    I'm always amazed by this scene. I'd be riding along and see a lone hardwood tree. Very sparse through the park, but there would always be just one tree, with a spring of water near the base. Makes me wonder if the Ranchers of old, planted these for markers....back in the day?

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    Being solo is nice. Its a real FREE feeling. I'd rather Monty be here and not miss today's adventure. He's one of the best Adventure Mates you could ever hope for. But being so alone....so deep in the back country....so far from civilization or any support....well, it just gave me a feeling that I can't describe adequately. And I liked it.

    I started noticing things that I hadn't before. Maybe because of the weather. Maybe because we seemed in a hurry. But probably because in that Pie of All Knowledge, my slice is so small, as I've acknowledged. And today, my piece of the pie grew a bit bigger!

    For instance, I didn't know there were so many different kinds of cactus. I knew about the green prickly kind.

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    But I didn't know it was available in Purple!

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    Then I came across the remnant of the last Solo rider in these mountains of the Chiuahuan desert.

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    A bit unnerving, I'll admit, but I didn't let that stop me. I pushed on....deeper....

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    and....deeper....

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    10 miles...15 miles....20 miles....

    Feeling punier with each rocky mile.

    TODAY was THE DAY. I could just feel it. Something special was going to happen.

    HF
    #43
  4. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    There is a stubby little puffy kind:

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    And a skinny short spiny kind:

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    Soon, I approach a crossroads. Decision time....I choose the "Guale Mesa" direction, because it looks like it hasn't been maintained in over half a century, and because....well....I like guacamole. :1drink I'm the Trailboss now. I can make any decision I want without any debate. :lift

    About the time I'm feeling lost, I come across these pair of interesting relics.

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    I ponder these for a good while, and conclude it must be some kind of ditch-digger.....back in the day. But I'm gonna have to recruit some help from the BigDog.....to get his buddy Randy to give it a looksee. He'll know what it is. He knows everything. He got one of those big slices of pie.

    Deeper yet, I continue to drill into these desolate formations. That's when the feeling comes back. A real strong HF feeling. Some of you know about that. Something down there is drawing me like a magnet. I can feel the pull...

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    The hills get so steep and the road so rough, I start having 2nd thoughts about being soooooo remote, all alone, where know one ever ventures, and know one knows I'm here. I mean, after all, those workers still haven't come back to get their ditch diggers, eh?

    So, I do what any responsible Solo rider should do when deep in the back country....I continue, no retreating. And my feeling was right. :deal

    Ho-chi-momma....what is that? :eek1

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    Hhhmmmm.....this definitely warrants a closer look. To infinity and beyond! The old trail ends very close to the edge of a sheer vertical cliff that was probably 2,000 ft to the floor. :eek1 :eek1

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    So, THIS is the "Guale Mesa". The photos don't do it justice. It just takes my breath away! Well, time for a lunch break, so I climb to the top of the highest rock pile on the sheer edge of the Mesa wall.

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    Got Monty's tuna. Got Monty's home-grown onion. Even brought an extra drink for him. But Monty is not here. Oh....poor Monty! I can't believe you missed this. :cry But I sure did enjoy your lunch. You're a good Mate, no matter what the inmates say.

    I stick around here for a couple of hours. This is the only point in the Big Bend Ranch State Park that I found cell coverage. Three bars too! Remember that if you're ever out this way. But its a long, loooong ride on the roughest road in the park that I found all week. ALL I wanted on my KLR....and I'm no novice. FWIW. Anyway, called the wife, first time we've spoken in about 3 days. Told her "no...I'm not on my way home yet. Monty bailed. Me...I'm gonna have to stay a few more days. Just can't leave this place. Luv & hugs...over & out."

    Got to give this spot: two thumbs up!

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    Just hope I can get out of here alive! Gonna be a long hard climb 12 miles through those big hills.

    HF :thumbup :thumbup
    #44
  5. fotobo

    fotobo KTM rider

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    Definitely gonna have to do more splorin around down there on the USA side. I have been there several times but have only ridden in Mehico except the one time we rode down to Lijitas.
    #45
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Awesome! Nothing like solo exploring.:thumb
    #46
  7. Zecatfish

    Zecatfish XTique Rider

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    :Lurk Great report :lurk
    #47
  8. backspinnn

    backspinnn Been here awhile

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    Haven't rode with Monty in a while. Dennis, Monty, and I had some epic adventures in Oklahoma. I have a really good GPS trail we found from Terlingua Ranch to BBRSP I could share if you guys go back.
    #48
  9. Monty

    Monty Calm Like a Bomb

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    While HighFive was enjoying his day at the ranch, I was making my towards home.

    It was the coldest morning of the trip. My tent fly was covered in ice, as was the KLR.

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    I decided to take Pinto Canyon Rd out of the area. I had heard this was a good ride,and had never been that way. See the mountains in the distance? That is the way I'm going. But what is the white stuff on the top?

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    It's not supposed to snow in the desert.

    I stopped in Presidio for bacon and eggs.When I called home to check in and get a weather forecast, it did not sound good. Today (Wed) called for a high in the 40's. Not too bad. Thursday was high in the upper 30's, and Friday called for highs in the lower 30's, with sleet and snow, etc. I better get moving. I am 800 miles from home. Friday is not going to be a good day to ride. I have no way to let HF know this. Hopefully he will find some cell service and get the word.

    After leaving Presidio, riding north on 170, I was surprised by a mountain lion dashing across the road in front of me.

    Once I got to Pinto Cyn Rd. and gaining some elevation, I found that it really was snow on the mountains.

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    That is it for my photos. After that it was slab all the way. It was in the lower 20's Thursday morning when I left the motel.:vardy And did not warm up much all day. Later that day,I took advantage of HF's idea with the hand driers. Like about an hour later, then an hour after that, and so on. I drank a lot of bad coffee that day.Also stopped for some of those chemical hand warmers, which I placed in my boots and gloves, and some on my chest. Could not have continued without them. I made it home late Thursday afternoon. It only took about three days to warm back up.

    Maybe next year we will do this in Oct-Nov, eh, HF?.
    #49
  10. Monty

    Monty Calm Like a Bomb

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    Hey Backspinn:wave
    I thought I might see you guys at the Clayton ride in Oct. I even looked for you at Talimena. Definitely send or post those tracks. I am hoping to go back early next year.
    #50
  11. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Hey BigDog! No doubt you had good time. Look forward to reading about it soon. We'll hook up another time.

    I had no idea my trip would lead to this State Park on the Ranch. Never even heard of it, before I got down there. Fascinating....just fascinating place.

    Please have Randy look at my photos of that "thingy-ma-jig" and tell me what it is. Kind of still bugging me. Especially why they would have abandoned such fine equipment out on the range.

    HF :thumbup
    #51
  12. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Apparently, while Monty was out sledding in the snow (farther West), I was reeeally enjoying the Tee-Shirt weather....just in case you didn't notice.

    Backtracking was not without its challenges, just as I had suspected. The old ranch road (if you can call it that) looks like this for several miles.

    [​IMG]

    Very loose and difficult to maintain traction on the uphill climbs. Many of the rocky sections contain much larger loose rocks than you see here. Highfive might have even gone down...:yikes

    But I didn't.....:jose

    I managed fine on my KLR, but this is a section of the Ranch that I don't think I would want to be riding my old 950 on. I would much have preferred my little Yamaha WR250R through this area.

    However, I found a tall spaghetti kind:

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    And, a short porcupine kind:

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    Then, I discover a Giant Petrified Jackrabbit....:eek1

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    Never seen such a big pair of ears. As I ponder how this rock formation was made (or actually left standing), I decide to have a closer looksee. After all, I'm not in a hurry.

    This is when I make an AMAZING discovery. I found this carving on the inside of one of those "ears"...

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    It was huge! I wish I could have taken a self portrait to show the size perspective. But, I just couldn't work out the mechanics by myself. Guess I'll add that to my Bucket List.

    Now I realize its getting late, and I need to get moving fast. I've got a long long way to ride back to Sauceda.

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    As far as you can see on that horizon....well, I've got to go beyond that. And this is the "beyond" point, where sunset is overtaking me.

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    Been here before, with Monty, so I know where I am now. Just another 10 miles and I'm back at Ranch Headquarters by official "quitting time".

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    That's the only time I ever ran into one of these fine Park Rangers. Every evening I would go into the office to pay for another night of camping, and get to chat with them a bit.....as they each returned to the shop. One of them asked so many good questions about my KLR, I bet he owns one by the time I finish this RR.

    There is a nice bathroom with hot shower that is open here at the Sauceda 24/7. I decide to take advantage of it today....and leave a message for Monty.

    But a Giant Rat was blocking the door when I came around the corner...:eek1

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    We had a little tension, but then he chickened out:

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    ....the big wussy!

    Anyway, very nice facilities here:

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    HF :thumbup
    #52
  13. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Oh....I almost forgot to mention. On the long tuff ride back, I kind of got myself into a real Mexican Standoff. Riding along a deep loose creek bottom, I ran headlong into this:

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    A little closer now, but they didnt' appear willing to give up any ground:

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    Suddenly they went to baying very loudly....all of them. Then, vanished liked ghosts into the brush. :rofl

    I know a thing or two about donkeys from back at Rancho Highfive. But these wild burrows cracked me up! Maybe they are Ranch stock enjoying some off-season vacation. I donno....:dunno Wasn't quite as sporting as chasing Buffalo back in Okiehoma.

    Anyway, down along this creek, I found a wicked little alien kind:

    [​IMG]

    I mean...check out those teeth! That's some kind of serious self-defense evolution going on here. :gun1 Built a little rock fence around it, cause it looked like some extra fortification was needed....to keep things away from it!

    Oh...there's more kinds of mean & nasty around here:

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    Guess its ok to bite it, just don't step on it. :deal

    But DON'T MESS with Momma! Found her waiting for me at Sauceda HQ:

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    Ho-chi-momma is right ! ! !

    At least, now you know why I was so late getting back to the dugout today.

    With a clear sky, I finally got to watch a sunset from camp....way up on the Escondido hillside. WOW....what a sunset it was. But somehow I messed up my camera setting and didn't get a good photo of it. Something else my fault....no doubt.

    Monty kept trying to get this "Money Shot" at nightime from camp. Well, I think I got if for him tonight:

    [​IMG]

    But I doubt I'll see any of that "money". I never do. Just sayin...

    Rustled up another fine Mountain House gourmet meal of Noodles with Chicken. Enjoyed a totally peaceful evening around the fire in total solitude. But, I also realized it was getting colder by the minute. Man, these desert mountains get COLD fast after the sun goes down. :deal

    With the crystal clear sky, just no telling how cold its going to be tonight. I put two layers of clothes on and hit the sack early. Planning on another fine day of exploring tomorrow. Want to go stand in the center of the old volcano caldera.....The Solitaro. :evil

    HF
    #53
  14. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Book it fotobo....it'll be worth your while. This Big Bend Ranch State Park has quite a lot of "unmaintained" old backroads. Just terrific dualsporting through historic country. You can stay at La Sauceda HQ right in the bunkhouse, and even get meals. But I don't do that kind of thing....you know. I'm always gonna be out in the bush....way out.

    I really enjoyed your Moab report. Put that one in my "Bucket" too. :D

    HF :thumbup
    #54
  15. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    Curious, how do you think R² would have fared out there?

    Great so far!
    #55
  16. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    I really am enjoying this one! :clap

    John
    #56
  17. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    Why the 350 watt alternator of the WR250R would have fried his electric vest :huh
    :hide
    #57
  18. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Day 7

    Started like this:

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    My little thermometer said 19F when I mustered the courage to climb out of my sleeping bag and find my bike. :vardy :vardy :vardy

    But, I've got good gear. I'll have to tell you about that later. Figured it would warm up and I could still go riding today.....Thursday, 12/3/09. Remember this date....its historical.

    Here's the deal....I'm low on fuel, but am going to ride this park until I hit Reserve. Then, I have to leave because I'll only have about 40 miles of fuel remaining with about 40 miles to get down to Presidio.....more or less. Ok...more. But who's counting?

    The clouds lift, but it doesn't feel like its warmed up much. That's when I've had it with the little Temp Gauge. I remove it from my handlebar and stuff it into my Tankbag out of sight. Hate that thing being right all the time....AND REMINDING ME.

    Not too far from Camp in a different direction, I'm perplexed by this scene:

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    It reminds me of a story from old....about how hard it is "to ride a camel through the eye of the needle". Which was some real place in the ancient Middle East. I think I found one of those here. And, I'd really like to try to ride my camel through that eye. But not today, I'm headed for Solitaro. Add it to my Bucket List....

    Found a little Asparagus kind:

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    And a Hula Dancer kind:

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    And a humongous snowy kind: :eek1

    [​IMG]

    Uh....well....Solitaro will have to wait till next time. (yeah, I know....put it in the Bucket). Besides, I had to switch to Reserve right here and I'm about 7 miles from camp.....not to mention FREEEEZING!!!

    HEY MONTY.....WHERE IS THAT WARM WEATHER YOU PROMISED DOWN HERE? :ear

    About now, I get another feeling.....and its NOT a good one. I race back to camp and pack my gear faster than...well....Monty when he's in a hurry! :deal Something is coming and its not good. Nope, not good at all. The sky is thickening and it looks like that snow is going to dump on me. So much for my extra 2 days here. I've got to hit the road and make some tracks!

    One last shot of camp upon my depature:

    [​IMG]

    Had to make the spear last night in preparation to defend my turf as those pesky giant rats started ganging up on me. Looked like they were forming a war party just before dark. But, they never made it up my hill. Guess they go to bed during the night.

    I say my goodbyes and check out of Sauceda. :cry Had such a wonderful time here. My Bucket is pretty full, so I guess I'll be back next year to empty it. Onward toward Presidio....its all downhill. And I make it uneventfully, but its snowing now.

    Have a big steak fajita burrito at a nice Mexican joint what's playing Christmas music....in Spanish. And I swear to you, Elvis comes on....singing in Spanish! Maybe I've been down here to long.....I donno.

    I head North to Marfa, but its pretty slow going. The roads are getting slick. I think its sleeting. Somewhere near a Ghost town called Shafter, there is a sign that points to a mountain side saying "Portrait of Abraham Lincoln". :huh Sure enough...there he is! Laying his head on a pillow. But my camera won't work. Its frozen! I stick it next to my body inside my jacket and push on toward Alpine.

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    Told you its sleeting & snowing. I'm going real slow. And not taken any photos (a few) as my camera battery is nearly dead.

    Then I pass another one of those signs: "Elephant Rock" Well I'll be....look at that:

    [​IMG]

    Just like a politician....got his head stuck in the sand!

    HF :vardy
    #58
  19. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Buckle your seat belts....I'm finally gettin to the Good Stuff!

    Somewhere near Marfa I have to pass through a Border Check station. The officer can't believe I'm riding a motorcycle in these conditions. I tell him I really don't have time to chat....because I'm in a hurry! All he says is, "are you an American citizen?" I was so bundled up, I doubt he could even tell if I had an accent. Apparently, he feels sorry for me enough to pass me through without any verification. Didn't even have to remove my helmet. Guess he figured there aren't ANY Mexicans stupid enough (I mean "cool enough") to ride a motorcycle across the border in these conditions.

    I must admit it was getting lonely on the road today. Hadn't passed any ADV inmates.....heck, not another motorcycles of any sort. What's up?

    Just when I was feeling sorry for myself, I pass this dude somewhere around Alpine, I think.....my brain was 3/4 frozen.

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    That's NOT a scarf on his face....its a beard full of snow! He's got both downriggers out dragging the ground and maybe doing 20 mph. Got two grocery bags hanging off the handlebars. It was HILARIOUS! But hey, he was riding. Correction: WE were riding! What were you doing on 12/3/09? Don't give me some "poor weather excuse". :whip

    Suddenly, I'm feeling a lot better about myself. I'm a lot better protected than this dude in my fine dualsport gear. I'm inspired, pass him doing at least 30 mph with MY FEET ON THE PEGS! Then, I push on toward Fort Stockton, because it looks like things are clearing up ahead.....kind of.

    At Fort Stockton, I wisely decide I've had enough....only making about 180 miles in 8 hours time. :eek1 Yeah....it was kind of like that. I bail into the first Motel I see. And trust me, I've NEVER been so happy to be in a Motel room in my life! :deal

    [​IMG]

    HF :bow

    Memo to file: "What a difference one day can make!"
    #59
  20. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Simply Fantastic on the terrain. But you really need some long fuel range. There is NO fuel on the Big Bend Ranch. Closest fuel is back in Persidio about 40 miles away.

    I don't have the large Safari tank on my WRR. And, I'm not sure that would even be enough. I may take my WRR when I go back next time....mainly so I can more easily pack my gear deeply into the backcountry campsites. They've got some Super Duper spots hiding in there. But too tough to ride my fully loaded KLR into them. The Ranch covers about 500 square miles!

    So, I might haul my WRR in the truck with a couple of 5 gallon gas cans next time. Just leave it parked at Sauceda and go exploring. Return for fuel pitstop as needed. That would work. But I sure did like the long riding between Rancho Highfive and the Mexican border. That was fun. Except for the cold....and sleet....and snow.


    HF :thumbup
    #60